Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has announced plans by government to ensure employment for the youth through its ‘One Million Job Initiative’.
Speaking at the Mid-Year Budget Review, he said that despite the “generally strong” performance of the economy, the issue of unemployment and jobs for the youth, who constitute close to 71% of the population, persist.
Thus, the government plans to ease the constraints of the private sector to enable the sector to expand and provide jobs for the youth, Mr Ofori-Atta told Parliament on Thursday, July 29.
“Recognizing that more needs to be done, Government is today announcing a “One Million Jobs Initiative” to aggressively respond to the need of the country. This is to promote growth in SMEs, support new ventures, and stimulate innovation and start-ups,” he said.
The Finance Minister stated that there have been key obstacles that stands in the way of the private sectors’ growth and ability to absorb jobs.
Citing a recent survey, he indicated that about 50% of local employers report misalignment of or inadequacy of skills in the market.
The survey, he added, also reported that at least 50% of new tertiary institution entrants are enrolling in programmes in sectors with no or little growth in the labour market.
In response to this, the Finance Minister said that the government is working to strengthen the links between education and job market stakeholders.
“We are also revitalizing the skills development initiatives under Ghana Enterprises Agency, NEIP, YEA and COTVET. We are also feverishly working on a scheme that enables the private sector to train new recruits/entrants at a subsidized rate by the Government.”
Mr Ofori Atta added that government intends to build an entrepreneurial nation that aims to empower the youth to be at ease and venture into businesses.
“The clean-up of the financial sector and the invigoration of the entrepreneurial eco-system is expected to help remove the binding constraints of financing and market linkage for our daring youth. Our focus will remain on establishing a strong value system for entrepreneurship to flourish,” he added